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Radia to manufacture world’s largest aircraft to enable deployment of efficient wind turbines

written by Newsdesk | March 21, 2024
Radia to manufacture world's largest aircraft to enable deployment of efficient wind turbines
Courtesy Radia

Colorado-based company Radia has announced plans to design, build, and operate the world’s largest aircraft, called WindRunner™, to enable the deployment of the largest and most efficient wind turbines to locations currently inaccessible at a scale and speed previously impossible.

The aircraft will be able to fly large turbine blades and other components directly to wind farm sites, helping to meet the growing need for low-cost clean energy at an industrial scale and achieve decarbonization targets. According to BloombergNEF and the International Energy Agency (IEA), land-based onshore wind energy must make up 20-41% of the electricity generation mix by 2050 for the world to meet its targets.

Radia, founded in 2016, has received nearly $100 million in funding from sources including LS Power, Good Growth Capital, Capital Factory, Caruso Ventures, and ConocoPhillips. The company will lead onshore wind energy expansion in partnership with industry leaders and work with development partners to create new onshore wind farms.

Radia CEO Mark Lundstrom stated that the company’s initiatives will drive down costs, make renewables more profitable, meet grid demand, and drive clean energy progress. He noted that offshore turbines are more than twice as powerful as onshore turbines because of their size, and if these large turbines could be moved onshore, they would be twice as profitable and open up three times more land for economically viable wind farms.

WindRunner’s innovative design supports its specialized mission, requiring only a 6,000-foot semi-prepared dirt or gravel landing strip at a wind farm to deliver its payload. The aircraft will be 356 feet long, with a volume 12 times that of a 747, to carry the largest payloads ever moved by air.

Radia has partnered with leading aerospace firms to design and build WindRunner and with wind turbine manufacturers to deploy large onshore turbines. The company’s leadership team combines aerospace and energy industry expertise, with executives from Boeing, Embraer, Invenergy, and Bloom Energy. The advisory board includes experts with unrivaled aerospace, energy, and government expertise.

More details about Radia, its executive team, renderings of WindRunner, and informational industry reports and white papers can be found on the company’s website.

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